PhD Petrographic heterogeneity of the Rotliegend sandstone reservoir (1.0 FTE)

Updated: 5 days ago
Deadline: 03 May 2021

We are looking for a PhD candidate who will investigate the petrographic heterogeneity of the Rotliegend sandstone reservoir of the Groningen gas field within a wider project entitled “The role of heterogeneity in controlling the geomechanical behaviour of sandstone reservoirs”. Pressure changes due to fluid extraction have driven compaction of the sandstone reservoir of the Groningen gas field. This has led to widespread surface subsidence as well as seismic activity and to predict future subsidence the mechanisms controlling compaction within the reservoir have to be understood. The petrographic composition (detrital and authigenic mineralogy, sedimentary facies, grain shape and size, etc.) of the reservoir is thought to be one of the controls. However, the spatial distribution of these petrographic aspects is not yet understood.

The PhD student will develop a detailed petrographic dataset of the Groningen gas field and develop a predictive model for the spatial distribution of sandstone petrography within the gas fields and the surrounding aquifers. The petrographic dataset will then be used as a training dataset for testing Convolutional Neural Networks for image segmentation to allow semi-automated petrography identification.

Responsibilities and tasks:

• petrographic analysis of sandstone thin-sections using optical and scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction measurements to supplement the thin-section data
• advanced image analysis including implementing a machine-learning algorithm to facilitate automated petrography analysis
• create a predictive petrographic model for the reservoir area
• preparation of scientific articles and conference contributions
• contributing and participating in scientific conferences
• teaching activities (15% of total workload) include mostly supervision of bachelor and master students.

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